Tuesday, January 18

South Africa’s liability crisis – Moneyweb

How is it possible that hearing President Cyril Ramaphosa testify at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry about allegations of state capture doesn’t make him want to hold our leaders accountable?

The big reveal from her two-day testimony shows how the leaders themselves refuse to take responsibility for anything. South Africa really has a crisis of responsibility.


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Hearing their evidence, it is unthinkable that Ramaphosa, who was part of the Zuma administration, did not know the extent of the state capture. To insist that he only knew what the public knew is an insult and nonsense.

Ramaphosa’s testimony concretely shows that we need swift and serious consequences for those involved in state capture. If the democratic process is to have a real impact and the legitimacy of a democratic state is to be maintained, this group of leaders and their party must be removed from power.

There is nothing democratic about the display of cadres.

As I have argued elsewhere, the heavy hand of politics on the economy and social progress is turning South Africa into a failed state.


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For example, as a consequence of appointments made by the ANC cadre deployment committee (which Ramaphosa has headed since 2012), state-owned entities (SOEs) and municipalities are collapsing and are in the process of destroying the country. . The resulting damage is all too evident in the collapse of hospitals and dilapidated water, road and electricity infrastructure, all essential to service delivery and economic activity.

Display of cadres coupled with ANC sponsorship

Analyzing the display of paintings deserves separate attention in itself and would cover a span from apartheid to the Mandela-led government.

Here I am reflecting on what Ramaphosa revealed in his testimony: the display of paintings is linked to the patronage of the ANC. Unfortunately, patronage is a consequence of politics.

Furthermore, the deployment of cadres has ceased to be useful (it has been captured by the winning faction in the ANC power struggle) and, instead, it entrenches mediocrity and is a tool to sustain political life.

Unfortunately, it is inconceivable that a ruling party does not deploy its members; China embodies this practice.

Read: China-backed AIIB development bank takes its first step into sub-Saharan Africa

For South Africa, cadre deployment is bad for democracy, in terms of its influence in distorting merit-based hiring practices, discouraging credible candidates from running for key positions in the public sector, state-owned companies. and the municipalities.

A major problem posed by cadre deployment for South Africa is that it ultimately leads to a degeneration of democracy. It erodes public institutions and the ability of public officials to bring about constructive change. By that I mean that institutions like the National Tax Authority, South Africa’s Crime Investigation Priority Directorate (the Falcons) and the police become subservient to political elites. This group, which in Platonic logic is the ‘guardian class’, kidnaps and hegemonizes these institutions out of their own interest because their position has given them an unfavorable level of autonomy with respect to the people.

What can we do?

So if leaders are the problem, as we’ve seen and heard from testimony after testimony in the state capture commission, and they are responsible for irresponsible government, what can we do?

Vote to get them out. However, it is not that simple or straightforward, since in South Africa we vote for a party that elects the members that it will deploy in government.

Perhaps now we appreciate the work of individuals and organizations calling for electoral reform that allows us to vote directly for those who will govern us.

Read: IEC attempts to delay local government elections seriously set back

Support for electoral reform has never been more urgent. Lamenting the lack of an alternative to the ANC from our couch in our middle or upper class living room, and / or angrily tweeting and putting the blame on the apartheid government or the black-led democratic government is worthless and to let the poison of hopelessness, cynicism and surrender spread.

Of course, cynicism has become a feature of contemporary South African public discourse. One that, when it occurs repeatedly, presents itself as reality. For example, ANC leaders and supporters cannot imagine South Africa without their party government. For them, a future in which the ANC does not lead the government is simply unimaginable; therefore, for them, it is unthinkable to end the display of paintings.

But this is false in all respects.

First, it is possible to imagine a South Africa that has directly elected the government and the president.

Therefore, to argue that we cannot do anything when the ballot is full of alternatives is to fall into the dream of despair and helplessness.

Second, it is up to citizens to remind their leaders and government that they are financially responsible and dependent on us. Change cannot be transmitted in the abstract, but must be committed by those who seek it.

South Africa is currently sinking under the weight of cadre deployment that has contributed to poor economic performance and institutional decline, and has meant that there is no possibility of comprehensive development.

All of this demands our attention because the reality is that South Africa is unimaginable without democracy, especially now that we have tasted it.

We South Africans are not enemies, we are compatriots. We should not be enemies, because that is what leaders of different parties thrive on. Instead, we must imagine a future without the ruling party or any party seeking to be elected to power.

We must imagine a future in which we can choose the leader of our choice.


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